On the Passing of Ron Dellums

Executive Director John Tierney released the following statement following news of the passing of former Congressman Ron Dellums, a Council endorsee and lifelong activist.

“Ron Dellums was a champion for all progressive values, and I am lucky to have worked with him, if only briefly.

When he began his congressional career in 1971, the Marine Corps veteran quickly became known for his “radical” views. Ron famously once said: “If being an advocate of peace, justice, and humanity toward all human beings is radical, then I’m glad to be called a radical.”

One of his long-term goals was to cut Pentagon waste and craft a sensible defense budget based on strategy, a goal that has long been one of mine, both as a Member of Congress and now as Executive Director of the Council for a Livable World.

Ron became the first African-American to serve on the House Armed Services Committee, sat on the panel for the entirety of his Congressional career and eventually became chairman. He was adept at advancing his goals. Through fair and bipartisan leadership, he worked across the aisle to limit the production of the B-2 bomber. He also challenged the MX nuclear missile, and proposed an alternative military budget that cut Pentagon spending by more than $50 billion. The Council was proud to endorse his candidacy.

Our Congressional careers only overlapped by one term, but in the two years we worked together, I enjoyed our conversations that often covered both in-depth policy and our personal lives.

Even after he retired from Congress, Ron continued fighting for progressive national security ideals, signing a letter in support of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

On behalf of the Council, and as a former colleague, I extend my deepest sympathies to Ron’s family.

He will be forever remembered as a fighter for all of us, for justice and peace.”